Cheesecake is a year-around favorite, but at the holidays — it’s really something special. I have made several kinds of flavored cheesecakes here on my blog, including a few I made in an Instant Pot. However, here is a classic – my New York Style Cheesecake because sometimes the simple things are the best.
New York cheesecake is made with loads of cream cheese, some sugar, lots of eggs, and love. The trick to a good cheesecake is to mix it on the lowest speed on your mixer to minimize air bubbles. Another good tip is to keep your cream cheese out overnight, so it’s definitely room temperature before you begin. Too cold of cream cheese could cause lumps, and that’s not good. A graham cracker crust is traditional – graham crackers, butter and sugar pulverized until it’s almost dust. A water bath is also necessary to ease your cheesecake through the baking process (no high heat here). Then, when you take it out of the oven — keep it in the water bath for at least 30 minutes before removing. Let the cheesecake sit on the counter until completely cool, then wrap and refrigerate overnight, or maybe two nights, if you have the time. It’s best to let it rest in the refrigerator to solidify before transferring to a plate or platter. Decorate as you choose – something simple like a few raspberries and a dusting of powdered sugar is my preference.
12 full size graham crackers
5 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt
32 ounces room temperature cream cheese
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
(Makes 9-inch Cheesecake)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Break graham crackers and place them in a food processor with remaining Crust ingredients. Pulse several times until fine crumbs.
- Spray or butter 9-inch springform pan and wrap bottom in foil forming halfway up sides. Add graham cracker crumbs and press into bottom, using a measuring cup to form crust. Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, add cream cheese and sugar. Mix on low for 5 minutes. Add vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Continue to mix on low for 3 minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time, until smooth and creamy. Add sour cream and continue to mix for 2 minutes. Pour filling into crust and place in a large casserole dish or skillet.
Pour hot water around sides of cheesecake (Bain Marie).
- Place in oven to bake for 1 hour 15-30 minutes, or until almost firm – center may wiggle slightly. Remove and cool in water bath for 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake and remove foil from bottom. Cool completely on countertop before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating overnight. Remove ring, and insert a butter knife around bottom edges of crust to loosen. Place on plate, decorate if desired. Enjoy!